Monday, July 25, 2016

Good to Very Good to Great – Coaching Progress With Great Demo!

This is a “two-fer” – two blog ideas in one! 

First, many of you have asked for an example of what a Great Demo looks like – we are well on our way towards that goal.  A few months back, I used the demo coaching tool from to provide feedback to a good, but fairly traditional demo (delivered by Richard Smith of Refract) as an example of using Refract.  He took the feedback and put it into practice in a second effort – the link below shows excellent improvement and progress towards Great – we’d class this effort as “Very Good” along the continuum. 

This second example is about 35 minutes long overall; screen sharing begins at the 1 minute 30 second mark.  In this demo (as in the first example), I am playing the role of a manager of an inside sales team at a software company; is essentially playing himself.  This is a Technical Proof demo, being delivered after Discovery was completed by Richard.

After the recording was completed, Richard sent me the Refract link so that I could next play the role of his manager, offering guidance and suggestions to improve.  My tags and comments are found below the window showing the recording; clicking on a specific tag (with a text icon on the far right) shows my specific notes to Richard, displayed at the top of the list of tags and below the recording window.  You can Pause and Resume the recording as desired.

What’s the “two-fer”?  This is also a wonderful example of using Refract as a method to deliver demo coaching asynchronously.  Richard recorded the demo and simply sent me the recording.  I then used the Refract capabilities to play back the recording, adding my notes and comments at my convenience, then sent the coaching annotations back to Richard (which is what you see in the link above).  Nice!

By the way, for completeness, if you want to compare this “Very Good” job with the first recording, you can find the original in my post of February 2, 2016.

Friday, July 22, 2016

[Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion Alert!] Great Demo! Public Workshops – Next One is October 12-13

Our next Great Demo! Public Workshop is scheduled for October 12-13 in Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley).  Registration and additional information can be found here.

Public Workshops are excellent opportunities for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.  They are 1.75-Day Workshops, with the first day focusing largely on core Great Demo! material and the second ¾ day addressing more advanced topics and techniques. 

We’ve found that these sessions are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization – and best when a combination of sales and presales participants are present (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday Morning – Terrific Daily-Use Mode Example

What do you do when you start your business day on Monday morning?

In Great Demo! Workshops, I often introduce the idea of “Daily-Use Mode” vs. “Set-up Mode” – where Daily-Use Mode is what most users do frequently in their day-to-day work and Set-Up Mode is what people (administrators, in many cases) do once or rarely. 

An example of Set-Up Mode is creating a dashboard or report – something that is typically done only once for that specific dashboard or report.  Daily-Use Mode is when users consume the previously-created dashboard or report in their day-to-day work – which might happen daily, weekly, monthly or other cadence.

Sadly, many traditional demos squander far too much time (and audience attention) in Set-Up Mode showing how to build these dashboards and reports, versus showing how these deliverables can be easily consumed.  A terrific way to think about Daily-Use Mode is to contemplate “Monday morning”. 

What do most people do when they arrive at their desks on Monday morning?  They check email.  (Yes, and some browse their favorites/bookmarked websites – and then they check email…!) 

So, consider starting the Daily-Use Mode portion of your demos in email, if possible.  For example, start by saying, “it’s Monday morning and you’ve just arrived in your office…”  You then show an “unopened” message, open it to reveal a link, then click the link to launch a browser that takes the user to the dashboard or report.  The user then consumes the dashboard or report, looking for problems, trends, or opportunities in accord with what your software enables. 

That’s the way most people start their day – why not map to it? 

For Great Demo! practitioners, the above pathway of starting in email and proceeding to the dashboard or report is a truly terrific “Do It” pathway, leading crisply back to a compelling Illustration.  Delightful!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Another (Very Good) Tool for Remote Demos - Zoom

I recently had a chance to explore using Zoom ( and find it to be a very good alternative to WebEx, GoToMeeting and  The Zoom tool for web conferencing is fast to load, has an excellent selection of annotation tools (a must for presenting demos over the web), nice white-boarding capabilities, plus some very nice video capabilities. 

Zoom offers a range of other communication tools (for webinars, private collaboration rooms, video conferencing, etc.) as well.  I don’t know how pricing compares with other tools.

Any additional comments or feedback on your experiences with Zoom would be appreciated!